tv [untitled] April 9, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
district. thank you so much for being here today. this is our second year doing this and i've seen many familiar faces from last year as well. how wanted knowledge this was initiated last year by our mayor ed lee, who wanted to make sure we were engaging in a much more transparent process around the budget where we were able to hear from stakeholders in terms of what you want to see it in terms of priorities of city dollars. as many of you know, the city budget is the most important policy document that we, on the board of supervisors, work and every year. over last couple of years, we have generated less revenue in our city, and therefore, have had the unfortunate task of making cuts that have hurt our communities and neighborhoods. this is often a time to hear directly from you in terms of what you would like to see. i do want to thank the mayor's
office of neighborhood services organizing this. [applause] of course, to the lovely staff of district 5 and district 6, who are also here today. [applause] this year, we changed the format a little bit in the sense that we have combined districts. i have the honor of co-host in this town hall meeting with our newest appointed supervisor to district 5, christine al-awlaki -- olague. >> thank you all for being here. i want to thank the mayor and mayor's office stop organizing this together us and the district offices. i am good to participate in my first budget process as a supervisor and am glad to see some of the concerned residents from districts 5 and 6.
last year, i was on that side organizing, so it is different to be on the side of the spectrum. this is your are to be to let the mayor and the border supervisors know what is important to you. it is a chance to tell us how you want us to spend the city's money. i want to encourage everyone to share your thoughts and concerns. please understand everyone may not get a chance to speak tonight but there will be other opportunities to voice your opinion. you can always feel free to keep me and my staff busy by calling or visiting our office, or any of the other 11 supervisors' offices to let them know your priorities for this year's budget. there has been a lot of effort into producing this event. thank you to my staff, the staff of supervisor kim, and the mayor's office. before they take over, i want to
introduce mayor edwin lee, to give his remarks, and to let us know why we are all here. [applause] >> thank you, good evening. thank you, everybody, for coming tonight. i want to express my appreciation to supervisor kim and supervisor olague. tonight is your night, your town hall meeting. there are some rules that we have laid out so that we can hear everybody. i want to thank carmen chu who is the head of our budget committee this year for the board of supervisors. [applause] she and other supervisors will be paying a lot of close attention to this year's budget with me, working closely because we are challenged this year, again, but maybe not as challenging as a year or two years ago, but still facing
serious challenges. we have to have a two-year budget this year. so it is not just what will happen in 12-13. we have to balance 13-14 as well. i want to engage you and listen to what your lives will be like, not just for this next year, but two, five years. i would be interested in doing that. i have a theme that i want to lay out tonight, something that supervisor olague, alluded to as a philosophy. we have not made any decisions on the budget yet about what we have to do to balance it. so i wanted to know that from the start. you have a fresh canvas to tell us what you think is important and what we need to pay attention to. that is what i call involvement in our budget. i want to involve you. i did my best last year where we
tried to listen to everybody, every representative, to find out what you thought was important, and try best in the negotiations with supervisors about what we heard and what we could do to protect the things that you represented. so i invite you and i want you to be involved in this. the second is i would like you to know that it is not just a dependence on government, whether it is the state or federal or local government, that should be the answer to everything. i would like you to signal to us what innovative ideas you have that we should and could consider. so, involvement and innovation are couple of things. finally, i would like to make sure that our budget, in collaboration with the board, and all of these wonderful,
hardworking department heads, and elected officials, at the end of with a two-year budget that signals a spirit of investing in our city. by that i mean, those of you in the room, did you know you are an investor in our city? you might be investing your own willingness to live here. you may be investing your family because you want to create a family. you might be invested in your home, or do could be investing in other people's business. the fact is, all of us work together to make sure that this city is worth investing in. without that investor confidence, we do not have confidence in our city, it is not worth investing anything in, whether our time, willingness to live in the city, take on the
challenges of a big, urban city. i wanted to be involved, innovate with us, and make sure that we all end up feeling better about our investment in the city. this is what i would like to accomplish in the budget. i hope that is an open door for you to signal to date -- tonight what you think is important and what you think we should do for you and for the other people you care about in this city. this budget should be reflective of the us caring about our city in every possible way. so i welcome you in doing this, the first of six budget hearing that we will hold throughout the city. you are welcome not only to be part of this one, but you can be a part of the other five as well. we want to give every district diversity to participate. thank you very much and i want to signal my appreciation for the departments with us today. [applause] >> thank you, mr. mayor.
i just want to recognize, this had never happened before mayor lee, and i want to recognize how important it is for a leader in our city to do this. so thank you. [applause] if you are wondering who these folks sitting with us are, these are city department heads who serve with us. we wanted to have the opportunity to hear from you in terms of your needs and priorities. we are going to do as little talking as possible. the want to respectfully hear from you as the put the budget together. i have the pleasure of introducing you to them today. we have trent from the human resources agency. ed sweeney. bob palacio, rec and parks. chief jewett hayes white, our fire department chief. greg sur of sfpd.
lisa hoffman, department of emergency management. karen roy. maria suh, dcyf. greg wagoner, public health. mohammed nuru, our new director of public works. and luis hererra. let's give a round of applause. [applause] in many ways, you get a sense of the brent our taxpayer dollars go to, just seeing each department represented. i will now hand things over to our town hall and see. the shed did such a wonderful job last year, we asked her to come back to do it again. thank you for being here.
>> i just want to thank everyone for being here tonight. i am the director of programs with united players. we are a youth-service organization in district 6. before i go on, i want to thank the office of civic engagement and immigrant affairs and let everyone know there are interpreter services available to my right, if anyone needs them. let's get started. our agenda for tonight, we are going to go over the agenda and ground rules. we will have a budget overview from the mayor's office, and then we will have some constituent presented speakers, people chosen ahead of time to give short comments about how the budget will affect their constituency. then we will have a community open mike. we have a short amount of time,
so i want to remind everyone to be respectful. everyone has written comments or placed their name in a bowl, and we will draw from them and alternate between districts 6 and district 5. has supervisor olague said, it will be hard to hear from everybody today, but the fact that you are here shows that you care, and we appreciate that. the comments that are in the bowl will also be compiled so that information gets to the people it needs to get to. after open mike, we will have a closing, and then the budget begins. , to remind everyone, this is the beginning of the budget process. for today, we want to make sure we get the most out of it, so we would appreciate if you could stay on a subject and be respectful of one another. let us remember that we all
chose to come today. that shows that we care about our city and this place that we choose to live in and call home. let's move forward in that spirit. >> hi, everybody. i am the mayor's budget director. thanks for having us here. i thought i would do a brief overview of the budget. many of you know how the process works. you have a basic understanding of our budget. i do have a few diagrams to walk us through what we are talking about and we talk about the budget. that is really are a city's spending plan for our priorities, how we will spend money each month and each year, and for the first time, how we will spend money pour the first two years. the city budget is $6.8 billion
a year, a big number. half of that is in the city's general fund. the other half is in the enterprise fund. the way i like to think about that is, if you were a small business owner, you would separate your business expenses from your household expenses. should i stand forward or back? what is the sound issue? ok -- just technology. if you think about your household expenses and business expenses, you would separate them out. that is what we do in the city. all of our business expenses are in the enterprise fund. household expenses are in the general fund. that is our human pass social services safety net, public safety services, fire, police, ems.
it is also our streets and infrastructure. building capital projects and improving our streets. it is also recreation and park. so it is all those kinds of things. we also spend money on paying people to do those services. you all know, the spoke work for the city. we have about 26,000 people that work for us, and we spent half of the budget every year on salaries and benefits. so it is a big cost for us. but a lot of people ask me, why do you have a budget shortfall? what is going on? i hear revenues are getting better, the economy is turning around. the best way to think about it is, for the last few years, and many of our households, many of yours possibly, you have not gotten a raise. income has not gone up. at the same time, the cost of
gas is going up, the cost of rent is going up. all those things that you have to pay every year are getting more expensive, so you have a disconnect between the amount of money coming in and the money that has to go out. this year, as you can see on the third chart is the gatt. we are trying to solve a gap of $170 million. the second year we are trying to solve a gap of $320 million. over all, what is our path? it is my job to listen to you tonight, to hear about what your priorities are, and as the mayor said, our focus in our budget this year is how we invest in our cities priorities? how do we make sure we innovate so that government is more effective so that it is more efficient, and finally, how do we involved and include all the community in that process? that is the basic budget overview. happy to answer questions if they come up, but i will turn it
back over to you. >> thank you, kate. we are going to get started with our comments with the constituent representative speakers, so i would like to first call on colleen to share with us. [applause] >> hi, everybody. my name is colleen rebecca. i work at the st. anthony foundation. i'm also part of budget justice, a group that has been around for a while working on city budget issues. we were first known as the people's budgets. similar to the point of this meeting tonight, it is a chance to give people affected by budget decisions a voice in the process. i want to talk quickly, coming from the perspective of someone
who does not work for an agency that is facing a cut, but coming from a community perspective, looking at some of the cuts that have been proposed but so far this year. as the mayor pointed out, there have not been any final decisions made about the budget but we do have some proposals coming out of the department and there are some things that are concerning to the community. i want to bring a few of those things up. one is some proposed reductions to department of public health in the community behavioral services program. these are substance-abuse treatment and mental health treatment programs. we are looking this year at a proposal to eliminate services that would affect 3840 vulnerable, many homeless or formerly homeless low-income san franciscans who are currently
receiving substance abuse treatment and mental abuse treatment in the city as a result of the cuts proposed. these 3800 people would lose substance abuse and mental health treatment services. this is something that does not just affect the people receiving the services, not just the people affecting the services providing, but it affects everyone in the community in that it makes the community less safe, and it makes people who are already vulnerable even more vulnerable. when we look deeper and what is being proposed, we see our inpatient and outpatient -- our inpatient mental health and substance abuse -- outpatient mental-health and substance- abuse treatment that do not have -- and our general fund only have been targeted for cuts. what that means is, the programs
that support folks who fall through the cracks and are not release supported by other types of government funding, federal or state, and are really supported only by the county's general fund dollars, those are the people we are looking at cutting. many of them are homeless or people living on the edge of being homeless. we are worried about that. it is is also important to point out that we are also looking at cutting, dropping services for homeless folks. this is happening at two different organizations for the proposal. one is a drop-in center that is specific to women. it stays open 24 hours and is a low threshold location to give women a safe place to stay at night, if they were not able to access our shelter system or find any other place to sleep at night. the other is central city
hospitality houses drop-in center program. between the cuts proposed to those programs, we are looking at 571 people losing access to bathrooms, losing access to very basic services, like simple meals and snacks, and a safe place to rest. when homeless folks that are disconnected from other services lose this one very basic service at a drop-in center, this is something that we are all going to see an impact of. whether people living or working in the neighborhoods where they are, or whether they are people trying to help these people that have lost services. that is my perspective, thank you. thanks for listening. [applause] >> thank you. next, i want to call up martha
hollins. >> good afternoon, mr. mayor, distinguished colleagues. you have to excuse me, i am a bit nervous. i have never spoke at a town hall meeting before. this is a great honor for me. my name is martha hollins. i am the president of the tenant association at plaza east apartments. our manager there is bridget corvette. i am here to advocate for our community. no one ever speaks of plaza east
and what goes on there, but i am here to tell you this evening, we used to have -- in which we do not have any more -- a lot of violence. if you know plaza east -- excuse me, i'm nervous. we still have a lot of violence out there. killings, murders. now, it has subsided a lot with the help of our residents and local police, fire department, and we are trying to move our community forward. i am speaking tonight on our seniors. the programs we used to have there were taken away but we are trying to get them back. our seniors need our help, our youth need our help. the community, as a whole, needs
help. i am here to advocate to you today, to see if you all would consider plaza east. there is nothing there for the kids to do for the summer. also, our seniors are basically in their houses with no where to go and nothing to do. the kids hang out all day long with nothing to do. there is no job or anything like that. we are looking for help. i come here to ask you to consider plaza east, to get back programs in there, to get back things for our youth. we need computers so that we can start computer centers. we do not have anything like that. young adults looking for jobs,
they need jobs, and they cannot find any. most of the time, you have to go online to find a job. we do not have that access to computers, so are you can find jobs. just a lot of things rolled into one big package. i do not know why people bought around plaza east when we are right in the middle of everything. it seems like we are the most ignored. that is why i'm here tonight, to stand up for my community. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, martha. next, i want to call up ashante dudley and barbarkathryn knoll.
>> i am a youth works in turn for supervisor jane kim. >> i am an intern for supervisor olague. >> in january, i became an adult. i am a resident of district 6 as well as an intern for supervisor jane kim. one of the issues that affects you around me today is education and jobs. do you know that you to agencies through 24 face the highest levels of unemployment? believe it or not, jobs and internships are bigger than ust having money. it means being able to support their family. able to go through the day
without being hungry when they are not at school or at home. it means having the motivation to excel in something besides school and work. -- schoolwork. for all, not only jobs help my family, but it helps me get into college. it has kept my mind involved in something positive and it has kept me believing there is hope for the future. another issue i would like to talk about his some of the issues affecting my community in treasure island. i am a resident of district 6, and i believe -- ok. i am a resident of transit -- districts 6 and i live on treasure island. some of the main issues that
affect my community are the lack of the police. there is a lack of lighting. and that truly affects how people feel safe in their community. with no police presence, without any lights, without anyone to supervise the community, the parents do not even want their kids to go outside. if children are not going outside, involved in something positive, and then they do not really get to explore life. believe it or not, the children are your future. you have to invest in the children. you have to invest in these internships and jobs, and you have to invest in education. you can work on everything right now, the issues facing your
community right now, but you have to work on what will be facing you in the future. we are the one that will be replacing you later on in the future. we will be running your community, thank you. >> i agree with ashante. i feel like we should have more funding towards youth education and jobs. jobs such as youth works and other programs really give students a chance to gain experience, and that benefits the future. it also lets students figure out what they might be interested in. they could be involved in their community. another issue that i am concerned about is the budget cuts.